When the Night

by Cristina Comencini

Suspenseful love story dovetails around two intersecting moments, fifteen years apart. Forget lovey-dovey romance, the power struggle between taciturn mountain guide Manfred and Marina, a mother failing to cope, is as hard-edged as its icy Dolomite setting. Told from both viewpoints, the tussle of alternating voices can be unsettling, but guaranteed to hit the spot if you prefer your passion highly charged and deeply psychological.


The light is on and the floor is wet. The room with the fire-place is empty. In the kitchen the baby is on the floor with his eyes closed, lying amid the broken glass and liquid. Blood? I pick him up, he's breathing. There is blood on his head. Where is she? I move slowly, careful not to slip with the baby in my arms. There she is behind a door, curled up on the floor like a pile of rags.
'What happened?'
Her eyes are empty.
'Can you hear me? Wake up.'
I could slap her but my hands are full. I kick her.
Translated by Marina Harss


The Reader by Berhard Schlink

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